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Presidents of Belarus, Russia to discuss cooperation in WTO accession

MINSK, 31 May (BelTA) – Presidents of Belarus and Russia Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin are set to discuss cooperation in the WTO accession, BelTA learnt from Belarusian presidential aide Valentin Rybakov.

“Special attention will be attached to the issues regarding the accession to the World Trade Organization,” he said.

Valentin Rybakov stressed that Belarus is in close cooperation with Russia in this issue. “We believe that it is both in the interests of our countries and the SES Troika to join the WTO with a minimal time gap. The WTO accession by one country should prompt WTO joining by other SES member states. For this we need to strengthen Belarusian-Russian coordination, including through a mechanism of consultations within the Eurasian Economic Commission,” the official said.

“Out goal is to have the SES involvement in the multilateral trading system on the conditions that will help our Troika to grow into a leading regional association, able to confront today's challenges,” Valentin Rybakov said.

He emphasized that the accession to the WTO entails some costs to the economies of the Troika. "Our goal is to minimize those negative consequences. The ultimate benefits must significantly outweigh these costs,” he said.

In this context, Valentin Rybakov recalled that a memorandum of understanding on the WTO accession was signed by the Presidents of Belarus and Russia in Moscow in December last year. It clearly reflected the commitments of the parties to prevent the deterioration of mutual trade in view of accession to this organization, and readiness of the Russian side to provide the necessary support to Belarus to facilitate its early entry into the WTO.